LaTeX class niuthesis

Current Version: 2015/03/26

Roland Winkler
NIU Graduate School has various formal requirements concerning the layout of theses and dissertations that can be cumbersome to implement when writing it on the computer. LaTeX can be very helpful for that. Here is a LaTeX class file niuthesis that implements for a LaTeX document the formatting guidelines of the Graduate School. With this class file you can write your work like any standard LaTeX document, and LaTeX will take care of a large part of the formatting issues. This way you can focus more on the content of your work instead of being distracted by formal issues.

This class file works by loading several standard LaTeX style files (packages) that do most of the real work. Usually, these style files are part of any recent LaTeX distribution. If you get error messages from LaTeX saying that it cannot find certain style files put the following files into your working directory and the error messages should disappear.

Please, let me know if there appears to be a bug or if I overlooked any formatting rules of the Graduate School. (Yet please understand that I cannot explain LaTeX to you. There are many excellent LaTeX books.)


Here is a an example that illustrates the usage of niuthesis. You can use it as a template for getting started with your own thesis or dissertation. I have broken down the thesis into separate files for each chapter. This is often more convenient than one big file for everything.

Supported Options

This class supports the following options. Most of these options are passed on to one of the style files used internally by niuthesis (see above) and more detailed documentation for these options can thus be found in the documentation of the respective style files.

NOTE: These options are provided for convenience. An option like singlespacing can come handy during the preparation of your thesis. Yet many of these options are not compatible with the NIU guidelines for formatting theses and dissertations. Check these guidelines before using these options for the final version of your work. niuthesis has been designed such that if you do not use any of these options for the final version of your work, it will certainly match the NIU guidelines.

Options passed on to the report class:

Options passed on to the setspace package Options passed on to the ulem package Other options

Environments and Commands

Environments (re)defined by niuthesis Commands (re)defined by niuthesis See the above example thesis on how to use these commands.

More Commands:

Some theses require additional material to be added to the front matter of the thesis (after the List of Tables and List of Figures, and before Chapter 1). For example, it might be necessary to include a List of Symbols. To achieve this, you may define the command \listofXXX, which will then automatically put the material at the right location in the thesis. For example, define
This tells LaTeX to read the file symbols.tex, which contains the material to set up a List of Symbols. To see how this works, you may uncomment this line in the example file mythesis.tex. An example file symbols.tex is likewise provided.

A bit of a hack: On its second / third ... page, the List of XXX (XXX = Content / Tables / Figures / Appendices) should start with a `page' header line. Normally niuthesis inserts this header line automatically. In some rare cases it can happen that the last page of the List of XXX contains too little material so that this header line will not appear on the last page. In this case put the following commands in the main body of your thesis in between those two sections / tables / figures / appendices where the header line should appear in the List of XXX. (Suggestions for more elegant solutions welcome.)

LaTeX Freaks and TeXnicians:

Most other LaTeX packages with cool and fancy stuff should work well, too, provided they are compatible with the above standard style files that are used internally by niuthesis. I did not include such things here to keep this overview clear and simple for novices. Yet I want to mention that niuthesis should work, in particular, with the hyperref package.

Last modified: 2015-03-26 22:56:15 by Roland Winkler